Tipping the ME driver if he is handling your bags

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by kathylovesdisneyworl, May 14, 2005.

  1. kathylovesdisneyworl

    kathylovesdisneyworl Can we go to WDW again!

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    Anyone here notice if people are tipping the driver if he is handling your bags. I would think so, but I also heard Disney is covering the expense, at least at the hotel that is.
     
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  3. localdriver

    localdriver Mears/DME Motorcoach Driver

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    Disney is not providing any gratuities for the driver, only for bell services at the resort for incoming guests. NO gratuities are provided outbound for anyone.

    The drivers work for Mears, NOT Disney, therefore are NOT included in the "gratuities included" line put forth by Disney.

    Thanks for asking!
     
  4. bytheblood

    bytheblood Guest

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    I plan to tip . I would do it anyway as they are proving me a service.
     
  5. Horace Horsecollar

    Horace Horsecollar <font color=blue>DVC members represent a unique ca

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    It probably won't even occur to most guests to tip the driver.

    A motor coach driver is not a sub-minimum wage position like a restaurant server or bellman or valet parking attendant, where the bulk of they pay comes from tips.

    If a driver assists my family with luggage or does something else that makes the service special, I will tip.

    But I doubt I world tip the driver if my baggage is checked through, and the driver is simply in the front of the bus doing his job driving the bus.
     
  6. bytheblood

    bytheblood Guest

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    I realize that, however good manners tells me what is right. I was not referring to a "bus driver", I am referring to a bus driver loading my bags. The OPs statement was "Anyone here notice if people are tipping the driver if he is handling your bags."

    A service is a service. How great the service is decides how great the tip is.
     
  7. kathylovesdisneyworl

    kathylovesdisneyworl Can we go to WDW again!

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    My daughter just got back and used ME to go to the airport. I did not have time to call her, but she said she thought she should tip so she did. She didn't notice anyone else tipping. I wonder since Disney is advertising a free service and that they are covering the tip at the hotel if it is going to hinder the Mears drivers.
     
  8. localdriver

    localdriver Mears/DME Motorcoach Driver

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    My answer would have to be yes.

    IMHO Disney would like nothing better than for your tip money to be saved and spent in the parks, netting millions over a years time.

    People have heard/read the "gratuities included" loud and clear, but they didn't hear that it "only included bell services for incoming luggage only", nothing is mentioned about drivers, it just becomes an assumption. Drivers aren't the only ones upset. Bellman/women are not happy campers as well, as they are getting stiffed on outgoing luggage as well due to the "included mind set".

    Drivers understand that those without luggage probably won't tip much, if any.(even though most will tip a cab driver to take them up to Sea World(no luggage)).

    It is a bit depressing when you carry 55 people to the airport, and you have 3 bays full of luggage and you get $0, and you were on time, good ride, videos, and all that. TY TY TY is it.

    Let's put it this way, if your favorite "sit down" restaurant gave you a "free" meal of your choice, would you stiff the server? Even though that server gave you the same excellent service as if you had paid for your meal?

    It is about the service. That's how drivers make 30-40 pct of their income. Bus Drivers doing this type of work is a tip position and are paid by their employer with that in mind, even though a previous poster thinks differently.

    "My thoughts"
     
  9. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    Tipping "rules" don't always make sense. We tip the skycap but not the airline employee inside that does the same thing. We tip the bartender in the airport bar but we don't tip the flight attendant that serves us a drink. We don't tip a city bus driver or even the Disney driver that takes us from our hotel to the parks. I've never heard of anyone tipping the airline pilot.

    Every tipping guideline I've ever read says shuttle bus drivers get tipped for luggage assistance, similar to the way you tip a bellhop. The vast majority of guests will be not be taking their checked luggage on the bus and IMHO don't owe a tip.

    I understand existing drivers may be taking a pay cut but that's between the drivers, Mears and Disney. Taxi and limo drivers are "tipped" positions. Sorry but shuttle bus drivers, unless they handle your luggage, aren't. My understanding is Mears/Disney won't let the drivers put a tip cup in the front of the bus.



     
  10. granmanh603

    granmanh603 DIS Veteran

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    This does not relate to ME but last time we went down(Feb) we used Mears. You wait til there is a bus to you location and then head to bus they tell you. So called to bus, driver standing next to bus with luggage door open. Stand there for a few minutes, he does nothing, I load bags into bus, he turns around and takes them out and say I 'll load them and tell us to get on the bus. Kinda starts you off on the wrong foot with the idea of tipping someone for loading your bags on the bus. :sad2:
     
  11. localdriver

    localdriver Mears/DME Motorcoach Driver

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    I agree, that's not what I call "service". I wouldn't tip either.

    And LEWISC, I am referring mainly to those carrying luggage. And on the returns there is a lot of luggage. I would say 75 pct have their luggage with them.

    The main beef is Disney's statements on it, not the guest. The guest percieves "everything's taken care of".

    I would like to see Disney leave the subject alone, and let the guests decide who and what to tip based on service. They will be fair, I've always found that to be true.
     
  12. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    ME is expected to be adding Jet Blue and NW to the resort checkin program. SW might follow later in the year. I wouldn't count on the returning guests taking luggage on the bus much longer.

    The drivers probably have a reason to be upset with Mears and/or Disney. It sounds like their job is changing from being a "tipped" position to a position that is all but "untipped" without an adjustment to their base pay.

    The problem with being silent is the guest has no idea what tips have already been taken care of. Luggage delivery to the room isn't tipped and guests should be aware of that. I don't think Disney intended that many guests would be taking their luggage on the bus either direction. It might be appropriate for Disney to mention that driver gratuities for helping guests with luggage isn't included, but that doesn't change the fact that if the service proceeds as intended the drivers will be earning few tips.



     
  13. LIFERBABE

    LIFERBABE DVC MEMBER @ BCV BWV OKW SSR BLT AKV

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    I had questions about tipping on ME also.

    I too read that gratuities were included, so for me, that meant the entire service was covered, not portions. It bothered me, because I would be uncomfortable not tipping because I always tip.

    So thanks for the clarification and if anyone has the official line from Disney regarding what gratuities are included and not included It would be appreciated.

    We are renting this trip (NEXT WEEK!!) but in September we plan on using ME.
     
  14. BattyKoda

    BattyKoda Mouseketeer

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    We tipped our driver as it was my understanding that he was not expecting to have to handle any of the baggage.
     
  15. Horace Horsecollar

    Horace Horsecollar <font color=blue>DVC members represent a unique ca

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    When on vacation, we come across hundreds of people per day who provide service to us. I think most travelers try understand who gets tips and who doesn't -- but it's not always clear.

    To some degree tipping is an obligation. And to some degree it's a way to say thank you for excellent service, especially when there's a lot of personal interaction.

    We know that restaurant servers, cab drivers, bartenders, porters, skycaps, bellman, barbers, hair stylists, and many others get tips. Even though tips are voluntatry (in that we won't be arrested if we fail to tip), we know that it's customary to tip and that that's how people in these positions earn their income.

    We don't tip store clerks, flight attendants, transit drivers, most fast food counter employees, theme park ride attendants, service employees with whom we don't have direct contact, and many others.

    Then there are gray areas. If someone provides attentive, personal service or goes above and beyond, I'm inclined to tip. Also, we look for clues of what is and isn't a "tipped position." A private tour guide may depend entirely on tips. A National Park Service ranger providing a tour is a government employee who is not tipped.

    If the tip to the driver from 55 people on an ME or Mears motor coach is zero, I can only assume that it's not a case of 55 people willfully cheating the driver. Those 55 people didn't feel a need to tip, primarily because they didn't see it as a tipped position.

    By "previous poster," I assume that localdriver is refering to me. I never wrote that drivers are not a tipped position. In fact, I wrote, "If a driver assists my family with luggage or does something else that makes the service special, I will tip." But I also I wrote, "A motor coach driver is not a sub-minimum wage position like a restaurant server or bellman or valet parking attendant, where the bulk of they pay comes from tips." I think what I wrote is accurate, but I think that's the sentance localdriver was objecting to.

    I'm glad that Disney is taking care of the inbound bellman gratuities, and that Disney is telling us about it. That means that we don't to wait in the room until the luggage arrives, or that the bellman is unwilling to deliver to your room while you're out.

    I wouldn't mind seeing a tipping guide in the ME packet, clearly providing guidelines for whom to tip and the customary range (per bag or per person or per adult, as appropriate). That would be a benefit to guests and to those who provide service.
     
  16. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    Horace I agree with your post 100%. The problem. A few weeks ago the ME drivers were driving Mears buses. They handled the guests luggage and earned tips. May not be large in dollar terms but localdriver indicated it was 30-40% of their income.

    Now these same drivers are earning almost no tips. What's worse, it doesn't even occur to some guests to tip the driver when he helps with their luggage.

    Their complaint is with Mears and Disney but I understand their point.

    The value hotels, and maybe the moderate hotels, didn't really have bellhops. I wonder if the bellhops in the deluxe hotels are getting hit. I'd think Disney may have just increased their hourly rate up to, or maybe a little higher than, minimum wage. I doubt they're making as much as they did when they got tips.



     
  17. Horace Horsecollar

    Horace Horsecollar <font color=blue>DVC members represent a unique ca

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    Here's what Disney's Magical Express FAQ (for meeting attendees) says:

    Q: Are Bell Service gratuities included for luggage delivery to my Resort room?

    A: Yes, but for the inbound service only. Gratuities are not included if you elect to use Bell Services for luggage assistance when departing.

    Disney only addresses bell services in this FAQ. If there's any place where Disney provides more comprehensice tipping guidelines to ME guests, I'm not aware of it.

    Disney really has created the impression that Magical Express is entirely free. The behind-the-scenes inbound baggage service is free! The motor coach ride is free! The inbound bellman gratuities are free! The Remote Airline Check-in (for participating airlines) is free! The return motor coach ride is free!

    I think localdriver's observations are legitimate. By creating this impression, Disney is sending the message to guests that as long as they're using Magical Express, they can leave their wallets untouched. That has to be hurting the motor coach drivers, even when they provide friendly, attentive luggage assistance.

    The right things for Disney to do would either be to publish guidelines that suggest tipping the driver for luggage assistance, or to publish that luggage assistance is free (no tips), and then to work with Mears to make sure the drivers are compensated properly.
     
  18. Chip 'n Dale Express

    Chip 'n Dale Express Can't stay put!<br><font color=purple>I met lots o

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    Moderates and Deluxes both have Bell Services. DME luggage is done "GTY" which is the same as convention guest luggage. Instead of getting an hourly wage increase, it's a per bag guaranteed rate. From what I have heard (through the rumor mill) bellmen are always very eager to do GTY's.

    Value Resorts use Luggage Assistance. CMs are regular hourly CMs, so DME luggage is processed just as usual.
     
  19. localdriver

    localdriver Mears/DME Motorcoach Driver

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    Thank you, Horace and Lewisc for your comments. Both of you hit it on the head.

    Even the original press release says, "A family of 4 can save over $80 for transportation plus gratuities".

    This is the problem, "Uncle Mickey" is paying nothing, now "Uncle Mickey" is back peddling "videos are edited to EXCLUDE commentary about gratuities". But it is still, apparently, included in written info sent to incoming guests. I would love to see what is sent to everyone.

    Uncle Mickey needs to put up, or shut up. Mickey says to the guest one thing, but says to the providers of the service another, only to enhance Disney's profits.

    I really don't think Walt would have done it this way. This is the Eisner mentality.

    If Tips are included, Disney should pay them, They ARE NOT, at least not to the drivers.

    My view. Included tips don't work. Let everyone EARN their own. That's how service is enhanced.

    Even worse, this just a confusing issue for the guest.

    The tip system works pretty good in the US.

    I will go out of my way to assist you, my guest, my passenger, I am personally responsible for your safety. I take it very personally. That is just what I do..period.

    "Uncle Mickey" needs to butt out and let ME, and me do my job. It will all work out for the better that way.

    Disney need not say anything. People aren't stupid.

    But they could say "gratuities for bell services, or DME drivers aren't included in your package"

    And let it go at that. Let the guests decide.

    So we will see how it all shakes out.
     
  20. Horace Horsecollar

    Horace Horsecollar <font color=blue>DVC members represent a unique ca

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    Actually, for bags to "magically appear" in the guests' resort rooms, it was absolutely essential for Disney to eliminate the need for guests to tip for inbound bell services. (Otherwise, guests would have to remain in their rooms waiting for their luggage, to tip bell services, who would not deliver to an empty room.) It was necessary for Disney to absorb the cost of inbound bell services gratruities to make the inbound service work. And that's exactly what Disney did. I give Disney high marks for this.

    Guests can check in and then head out to have fun (and spend money), without having to wait some number of minutes (or hours) until their luggage is delivered.

    Disney had to communicate that the bell services gratuity is included for inbound luggage delivery, which is one reason it's explained in the video on the ME motor coaches. (Is this part of the video the reason that there are so many reports of ME drivers not running the video?)

    Disney could and should provide tipping guidelines for other parts of the service, including the ME drivers, outbound bell services, and Resort Airline Check-in (do we tip them the way we tip skycaps?).

    I disagreee with the idea that Disney should say, "Bell services, at your discretion may be tipped directly, or added to your room charges." That's incorrect. The cost of luggage delivery to the room is absorbed by Disney, as described by Tyler.

    Frankly, I think a bigger reason that ME motor coach drivers tend not be tipped is that the transportation service is free. Let's see... 20% of zero is... let me calculate that out... oh, yeah... it's zero!

    Also, fewer and fewer people will have luggage on the ME motor coaches as the packets including tags are mailed properly, and especially if more airlines participate in Resort Airline check-in. So, more and more, the ME drivers will be seen as untipped transit drivers, not as tipped service employees who interact with guests to provide luggage handling services.

    For someone who is looking for a steady stream of tips, being an ME driver is probably not a good job. It could get better if Disney provided better guidelines, but, even then, it's going to seem like an untipped position to the majority of ME passnegers.
     
  21. disneyworld!

    disneyworld! <font color="87005b">Love, Peace & Mickey.....and

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    I was told BY Disney that this service is tips included EXCEPT on the return trip with the bell service.
    so that is what I am going by
     

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